Sneak Peek of New At-Promise Youth Center + Q&A with Operations Manager LaKeisha Walker

With the grand opening of the Westside’s At-Promise Youth & Community Center just days away, we got a sneak peek of the incredible new facility when we sat for a Q&A with Operations Manager LaKeisha Walker.

Located in historic English Avenue, the At-Promise Center will be a state-of-the-art learning and community facility with specialized services for youth and a gathering place for residents, group activities and other purposes.

This center is also the cornerstone of the Atlanta Police Foundation’s youth crime reduction initiative and a central part of the Westside Future Fund’s Safety and Security impact strategy.

Entrance of At-Promise Youth & Community Center

Asked about the significance of the facility’s name, Walker stated simply, “Here at the At-Promise Center, we think that our youth are at-promise, not at-risk.”

With a host of partners and sponsors for the Center, Westside youth will now have access to services that can potentially change the trajectory of their lives.

Read below to learn more about LaKeisha and her Westside Story, what to expect at the grand opening of At-Promise, and, of course, her hope for the Westside!

Tell us your Westside story.

I was born at Grady Hospital, grew up on Simpson Road [now Joseph E Boone Road], and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School (Go Bulldogs!). I grew up in the community, and the facility we’re in right now is where I (as well as my son) attended pre-k. The Westside is my home and my foundation.

What is your role at the At-Promise Center?

I’m the Operations Manager. I am responsible for the day-to-day facility operations, maintenance, and making sure that our providers have everything they need. I make certain we are functioning properly and maintaining our promise to the community.

Main Lounge Space

What role do you think the At-Promise Center will play on the Westside?

The At-Promise Center will be a provider of resources to a community that has lacked. It will provide hope to families where there has been no hope before because the Westside hasn’t received a lot of attention over the years. It will allow the residents to know that there are agencies that care about them. There are resources and services for them to take full advantage of so that we can help prepare them to live up to their full potential.

What excites you most about At-Promise being in the community?

What excites me most about the At-Promise Center is the opportunity to invest in our youth and get them to see the endless opportunities and possibilities they truly have at their fingertips. Thinking about my experience working in youth development for over 12 years, what I’ve noticed is that there are a lot of great services around prevention, diversion and intervention. We are now bringing all of those services under one roof, so we can give our youth exactly what they need.

Staff members gather during training for an activity.


What is your hope for the Westside?

My hope for the Westside is to see it revitalized… To see more energy on the Westside, more businesses, homes and people who are truly embracing their communities and raising their families. To see youth really have promise in their future, providing them with resources, exposing them to things they wouldn’t normally be exposed to. Really giving them an outlet to have them reach their full potential.

What can we expect at the grand opening of At-Promise on August 1?

One big celebration! A celebration with all of our partners, supporters, the community, youth, and friends!


To learn more about the Atlanta Police Foundation’s At-Promise Youth and Community Center and its grand opening on August 1, click here.